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Outdated sites costing businesses customers


New research by Telstra suggests that Australian small businesses might be missing out on the benefits of technology.

Finding new customers and meeting the changing customer expectations ranked amongst the top  concerns with technology. Having a current website is a simple way to meet changing expectations with more than two-thirds of customers (72%) saying they were less likely to buy from a business if  

their website wasn’t up to date. Despite this strong demand, more than half of businesses don’t prioritise updating their website.  

Telstra’s Business Tech State of Play report shows more than half (58%) of business owners say  that using digital technologies is a priority to become more efficient and 69% agree that  

technology is now about much more than efficient working and has become part of how a business  competes. 

Time and money have become scarcer commodities in the past five years. Growing revenue and  managing increasing costs ranked as the top two concerns, and business owners are almost twice  as concerned than they were five years ago about having the time and capacity to get everything  done.  

“The pressure being felt by small business owners today is reaching boiling point,” said Amanda  Hutton, Group Executive, Telstra Business.  

“There is a real untapped opportunity for businesses to use technology in the right ways to help  improve efficiency, attract and retain customers, and reduce cost pressures.” 

Cyber Security and AI low on the priority list 

Cyber Security is a growing concern but focus is overshadowed by other more pressing concerns. Despite the growing cost of cyber crime on Australian business almost half don’t have basic cyber  security measures in place. 

AI adoption is still relatively nascent with just 7% actively using it across a broad range of use  cases. Data analytics and content creation are the most popular use cases, but others include  using chatbots, virtual shop assistants and augmented reality in customer service, through to  financial management and recruitment.  

Of the businesses already using AI, 64% believe it is a competitive imperative and that businesses  that fail to adopt AI in the next five years will lose their ability to compete. 
Reliable connectivity top priority 

The technologies businesses said will have the most positive impact in the next 1-2 years include: 

1. Access to fast, reliable and secure internet connectivity (57%) 

2. Cyber security solutions (34%) 

3. Digital payment technologies (28%) 

4. Cloud-based communications services (e.g. cloud-based phone systems, video 

conferencing and collaboration tools (27%) 

5. Artificial Intelligence (27%) 

Untapped opportunity to attract and retain staff 

A majority (79%) of workers surveyed want to learn more digital skills to further their career but  only 39% of businesses offer training in this area. This presents an untapped win-win opportunity  for businesses wanting to attract and retain talent. 

One practical way business owners can meet this need and improve their business’ cyber  

resiliency at the same time is by signing their team up to COSBOA’s free online Cyber Wardens  program, which is Australia’s first-ever cyber safety workplace certification program that will equip  employees with basic cyber security skills to help protect against cyber security risk.  

Businesses need support with technology 

While the opportunities are clear and Australian businesses show an appetite to embrace new  technology, more than half of respondents (54%) agree it’s hard to stay up to date with  

developments and know what to invest in, and 40% agree they want more support to help use  digital technologies more effectively. 

Telstra has 26 Telstra Business Technology Centres around the country with teams of business  technology specialists ready to help provide strategic advice to businesses about their technology  needs. 

“Australian businesses are adaptable and entrepreneurial by nature, but they need help keeping up  with the pace of change and prioritising what to invest in. In an environment where there’s no time  or money to waste, businesses need good support and advice to adopt technology that will deliver  the highest returns for their business,” Ms Hutton said.  

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